Tips and Guide

What Does It Take To Start a Marijuana Dispensary in CA


Marijuana, otherwise known by its scientific name Cannabis Sativa, is a widely known psychoactive drug that is used for both medicinal as well as recreational purposes. It contains tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) which is just one of the four hundred and eighty-three compounds existing within the plant; that is the main psychoactive part of Cannabis.

Taking into consideration both the medicinal aspects of marijuana as well as recreational benefits, you might find it in your best interests as an entrepreneur to start a marijuana dispensary in California.

Start a Marijuana Dispensary in CA

Benefits of Starting A Marijuana Dispensary

One of the first benefits of starting a marijuana dispensary is due to the fact the trade has low competition within California. You won’t have to pay for intense advertisement campaigns to showcase your product or attract a larger customer base within the area. California doesn’t have the gracefully large Marijuana outlets compared to other locations. All you need is to do is understand the basic laws of successful businesses and the will to thrive at least in the least competition available.

Also, marijuana will be fully legal in 2018. There will be no need for you to act in the pretense that you are only selling medicinal marijuana as legal amendments will now permit the recreational use of marijuana as well. This lessens your chances of clashing with the law enforcement agencies over the illegal trade of marijuana.

Larger marijuana outlets, with the capability of making a countrywide distribution, are encouraged by law so as to give a grace period of a minimum of 5 years to small-scale marijuana dispensaries to offer them an equal platform for growth in the industry.

Last but not least, this is a fresh industry that is unsaturated within California, guaranteeing you lesser risk of having to constantly change your dealing and marketing strategies to deal with the ever dynamic and demanding market.

Deciding On Your Product Pricing

Different marijuana outlets offer different strains of marijuana at different prices for a wide array of reasons, including the price of production as well scarcity of the strain in the subject. You need to take into consideration your target customers. Also, consider the ability and willingness of them to purchase your product. Is it affordable or will it encourages them to invest in your rivals/competitors.

It is necessary to encourage customers to acknowledge that your dispensary offers some of the best strains at affordable prices hence attract more buyers and retain existing ones.

Some of the ways you can use to determine Marijuana prices in your dispensary include:

  • Checking for pricing standards in different states – Cross-referencing ensures you are at par or a step ahead of your competitors by just ensuring your prices are more customer friendly than those of your competitors.
  • Take note of street prices – Apart from legally licensed marijuana vendors; there is the street level product that may at times be of similar or even better quality. It is important to cross check the prices and find a niche that you can perfectly occupy and take control of.

  • Product combinations – Marijuana use may at times employ the use of a wide array of accessories such as rolling paper, lighters as well as bongs. It would be wise to complement product pricing with the cost of these accessories ensuring you roll in profits on most occasions.

  • Offer discounts – The hand that gives tends to receive too. Offering your customers discounts, such as member discounts will go a long way in helping you retain already existing customers as well as encouraging new customers to come aboard.

Legal Provisions on Marijuana Dispensary Businesses Operating In California

8TH November 2016 marked the approval of the Adult-Use of Marijuana Act. This legal amendment allowed operation of recreational Marijuana Dispensary in California without running the risk of prosecution by law enforcement agencies. Before you gather your resources for this line of business, it is important to take note of the following legal provisions:

Legal documentation and licensing

  • Each and every marijuana dispensary business owner needs to be in possession of a state-issued license specifically issued by the Bureau of Marijuana-Control.

  • You must present a business license upon inspection of your establishment by the relevant authorities. This document is easily obtained from your local city hall.

  • Each and every new marijuana dispensary owner needs to provide a fictitious business name statement that can be registered at the county clerk’s office.

  • Home occupation permit – In the event you want to set up the business within a home set up, you will be required to obtain a home occupation-permit from city hall to avoid prosecution. This document tends to take a bit more time processing than the business license.


The sale of marijuana to minors is strictly prohibited and punishable by law. Also, your establishment should maintain a distance of not less than 600 feet away from a daycare, school or a youth center.

Marijuana dispensary attendants should not be younger than 21 years of age. Last but not least, no large-scale Marijuana outlets are permitted as a measure aimed at preventing monopoly.